KCC1 is the first Nanoparticle developed by KAUST Catalysis Center. Director of KAUST Catalysis Center, Dr. Jean-Marie Basset, Senior Research Scientist at KCC, Dr. Vivek Polshettiwar, and Dr. Dongkyu Cha of the Advanced Nanofabrication Imaging & Characterization Core Laboratory discuss the details of this recent discovery.
This video was produced by KAUST Visualization Laboratory and KAUST Technology Transfer and Innovation - Terence McElwee, Director, Technology Transfer and Innovation - IP@kaust.edu.sa
This technology is part of KAUST's technology commercialization program that seeks to stimulate development and commercial use of KAUST-developed technologies. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Werghi, Baraa; Bendjeriou-Sedjerari, Anissa; Sofack-Kreutzer, Julien; Jedidi, Abdesslem; Abou-Hamad, Edy; Cavallo, Luigi; Basset, Jean-Marie(Chem. Sci., Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2015-07-17)[Article]
Reaction of triisobutylaluminum with SBA15700 at room temperature occurs by two parallel pathways involving either silanol or siloxane bridges. It leads to the formation of a well-defined bipodal [(≡SiO)2Al-CH2CH(CH3)2] 1a, silicon isobutyl [≡Si-CH2CH(CH3)2] 1b and a silicon hydride [≡Si-H] 1c. Their structural identity was characterized by FT-IR and advance solid-state NMR spectroscopies (1H, 13C, 29Si, 27Al and 2D multiple quantum), elemental and gas phase analysis, and DFT calculations. The reaction involves the formation of a highly reactive monopodal intermediate: [≡SiO-Al-[CH2CH(CH3)2]2], with evolution of isobutane. This intermediate undergoes two parallel routes: Transfer of either one isobutyl fragment or of one hydride to an adjacent silicon atom. Both processes occur by opening of a strained siloxane bridge, ≡Si-O-Si≡ but with two different mechanisms, showing that the reality of “single site” catalyst may be an utopia: DFT calculations indicate that isobutyl transfer occurs via a simple metathesis between the Al-isobutyl and O-Si bonds, while hydride transfer occurs via a two steps mechanism, the first one is a ß-H elimination to Al with elimination of isobutene, whereas the second is a metathesis step between the formed Al-H bond and a O-Si bond. Thermal treatment of 1a (at 250 °C) under high vacuum (10-5 mbar) generates Al-H through a ß-H elimination of isobutyl fragment. These supported well-defined Al-H which are highly stable with time, are tetra, penta and octa coordinated as demonstrated by IR and 27Al–1H J-HMQC NMR spectroscopy. All these observations indicate that surfaces atoms around the site of grafting play a considerable role in the reactivity of a single site system.
Efficient synthesis of stable two-dimensional (2D) noble metal catalysts is a challenging topic. Here we report the facile synthesis of 2D gold nanosheets via a wet chemistry method, by using layered double hydroxide as the template. Detailed characterization with electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrates that the nanosheets are negatively charged and  oriented with thicknesses varying from single to a few atomic layers. X-ray absorption spectroscopy reveals unusually low gold–gold coordination numbers. These gold nanosheets exhibit high catalytic activity and stability in the solvent-free selective oxidation of carbon–hydrogen bonds with molecular oxygen.
D’Elia, Valerio; Dong, Hailin; Rossini, Aaron J; Widdifield, Cory M.; Vummaleti, Sai V. C.; Minenkov, Yury; Poater, Albert; Abou-Hamad, Edy; Pelletier, Jeremie D. A.; Cavallo, Luigi; Emsley, Lyndon; Basset, Jean-Marie(Journal of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), 2015-05-07)[Article]
Recent discoveries highlighted the activity and the intriguing mechanistic features of NbCl5 as a molecular catalyst for the cycloaddition of CO2 and epoxides under ambient conditions. This has inspired the preparation of novel silica supported Nb-species by reacting a molecular niobium precursor [NbCl5•OEt2] with silica dehydroxylated at 700 °C (SiO2-700) or at 200 oC (SiO2-200) to generate diverse surface complexes. The product of the reaction between SiO2-700 and [NbCl5•OEt2] was identified as a monopodal supported surface species [≡SiONbCl4•OEt2] (1a). The reactions of SiO2-200 with the niobium precursor, according to two different protocols, generated surface complexes 2a and 3a presenting significant, but different, populations of the monopodal surface complex along with bipodal [(≡SiO)2NbCl3•OEt2]. 93Nb SSNMR spectra of 1a-3a and 31P SSNMR on their PMe3 derivatives (1b-3b) led to the unambiguous assignment of 1a as a single site, monopodal Nb-species while 2a and 3a were found to present two distinct surface-supported components, with 2a being mostly monopodal [≡SiONbCl4•OEt2] and 3a being mostly bipodal [≡S ONbCl3•OEt2]. Double-quantum/single-quantum 31P NMR correlation experiment carried out on 2b supported the existence of vicinal Nb centers on the silica surface for this species. 1a-3a were active heterogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of propylene carbonate from CO2 and propylene oxide under mild catalytic conditions; the performance of 2a was found to significantly surpass that of 1a and 3a. With the support of a systematic DFT study carried out on model silica surfaces, the observed differences in catalytic efficiency were correlated with an unprece-dented cooperative effect between two neighboring Nb centers on the surface of 2a. This is in an excellent agreement with our previous discoveries regarding the mechanism of the NbCl5 catalyzed cycloaddition in the homogeneous phase.
Abou-Hamad, E.; Babaa, M.-R.; Bouhrara, M.; Kim, Y.; Saih, Y.; Dennler, S.; Mauri, F.; Basset, Jean-Marie; Goze-Bac, C.; Wågberg, T.(Physical Review B, American Physical Society (APS), 2011-10-10)[Article]
We present a detailed experimental and theoretical study on how structural properties of carbon nanotubes can be derived from 13C NMR investigations. Magic angle spinning solid state NMR experiments have been performed on single- and multiwalled carbon nanotubes with diameters in the range from 0.7 to 100 nm and with number of walls from 1 to 90. We provide models on how diameter and the number of nanotube walls influence NMR linewidth and line position. Both models are supported by theoretical calculations. Increasing the diameter D, from the smallest investigated nanotube, which in our study corresponds to the inner nanotube of a double-walled tube to the largest studied diameter, corresponding to large multiwalled nanotubes, leads to a 23.5 ppm diamagnetic shift of the isotropic NMR line position δ. We show that the isotropic line follows the relation δ = 18.3/D + 102.5 ppm, where D is the diameter of the tube and NMR line position δ is relative to tetramethylsilane. The relation asymptotically tends to approach the line position expected in graphene. A characteristic broadening of the line shape is observed with the increasing number of walls. This feature can be rationalized by an isotropic shift distribution originating from different diamagnetic shielding of the encapsulated nanotubes together with a heterogeneity of the samples. Based on our results, NMR is shown to be a nondestructive spectroscopic method that can be used as a complementary method to, for example, transmission electron microscopy to obtain structural information for carbon nanotubes, especially bulk samples.
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